Thar Coal Field declared ‘Special Economic Zone’, 2400 megawatt electricity generation to begin within 3 years

Karachi: The coal-fired power plants planned for Thar Coal Field would start producing 2400MW electricity within three years that would be increased gradually to 2500MW electricity after 17 years.

Sindh government has already declared Thar Coal Field as Special Economic Zone where the dollar-based interest rate has been fixed at 20 percent there is zero customs duty on import of coal mining machinery and the vehicles used at the site. In addition to that, there would be exemption of withholding tax, excise duty and other levies for thirty years.

Provincial Secretary, Coal & Energy Development, Muhammad Younus Dagha gave this information in a meeting presided over by Sindh Governor Dr. Ishratul Ibad Khan at the Governor’s House on Thursday.

Dagha told that Coal reserves of Thar Desert are seventh largest in the world where 175 billion ton coal is available that are equal to 50 billion TOE (Oil) and are more than the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and Iran. These coal reserves are equal to 2000 TCF gas, which is 68 times more that the gas reserves of country. Sindh has coal reserves of 186 billion tons while Punjab has 235 million ton, Balochistan 217 million ton, KPK 90 million ton and AJK only 9 million ton coal reserves.

The provincial government has been working on construction of three roads from Karachi to Thar coal field costing Rs.9.6 billion that include 200km road from Karachi port to Wango Maur, district Badin via Thatta, 135km road from Wango Maur to Thar coal field 155km road from Hyderabad to coal field via Mirpur Khas, Digri, Naukot and Mithi, Dagha briefed the meeting on infrastructure development adding that these schemes would be completed by end of 2012.

He said Rs.3.7 billion are being spent on effluent disposal system and this project too would be completed by December this year. So far Rescue Station and three Reverse Osmosis Plants have been completed while the Thar airport would be completed at the cost of Rs.808 million by December this year.

Under a plan the saline water of Left Bank Outfall Drain would be desalinated and supplied to Thar Coal Field. This project costing Rs.3.5 billion would be completed by June 2013. Another water supply project costing Rs.27 million would also be completed by December 2013 after which Thar coal field would get 1000 cusec water from Makhi-Farash system.

Secretary told that a system to provide electricity from Thar coal field to national grid would be completed in two phases by June 2014 at the cost of Rs.21 billion.

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